Uncomfortable knowledge

Reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on March 3, 2021 by curryja |

by Judith Curry

On the misuse of science and scientific authority.

The latest issue of The Breakthrough Journal is a tour de force. Excerpts from the Introduction to the issue:

<begin quote>

Donald Rumsfeld famously opined on the problems of decision-making in the face of “known knowns,” “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns.” To those three categories Rayner added a fourth, “unknown knowns” — the things we actually know but pretend we don’t. He called this “uncomfortable knowledge,” referring to all that policy makers and institutions forget in order to govern.

To some degree, banishing uncomfortable knowledge from the picture was unavoidable, Rayner argued. Faced with a world of irreducible complexity, humans must construct simplified versions of reality in order to act. But when institutions are unable to integrate uncomfortable knowledge into policy making, the consequences can be grave. This is true not just with regard to short-term policy outcomes, but also to the long-term credibility of the institutions.

A year later, the Covid-19 pandemic has offered us an object lesson in how this is so. From the beginning, scientists, experts, pundits, and provocateurs made bold pronouncement after overconfident prediction. Policy makers announced restrictions, based ostensibly on the best available science and then abandoned them within days.

As often as not, the facts are subservient to our interpretations of their meaning. Success at containing the virus in Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan doesn’t count because they are Asian countries. New Zealand does because they are like “us.” High case rates in the United States and the UK are due to the incompetence of globally unpopular leaders. In Italy, Spain, and France, they are due to aging populations and higher density.

One thing, though, seems certain. With each twist of the plot, each new skirmish among dueling experts, each round of blame-saying when things don’t work out as promised, our social and political institutions lose a little more credibility.

1.

As with the pandemic, so with the world. This issue of the Breakthrough Journal is titled, Uncomfortable Knowledge, in homage to Rayner, whose work informed, anticipated, and inspired so much that we have published over the years. It includes Rayner’s final essay, “Policy Making in the Post-Truth World,” published posthumously with Daniel Sarewitz. In the essay, Rayner and Sarewitz offer a valedictory of Rayner’s thinking about the demands and perversities of “post-normal” science, how normative views about nature inform science as it relates to risk, technology, and the environment, and the ways in which so much of what we call science today does not actually describe nature but rather artificial simulacrums of the natural world that are increasingly removed from anything we can observe or test.

The resulting hash of normative claims, confirmation biases, superficial empiricism, unfalsifiable predictions, counterfactuals, and counter-counterfactuals has, unsurprisingly, been attended by declining faith in the sciences, experts, and institutions that presume to guide us on these matters. In response, many observers conclude that we have entered a “post-truth” era, in which right-wing populists, conspiracists, and alternative healers are waging a war on science with potentially devastating consequences for human societies and the planet.

But Rayner and Sarewitz argue that this isn’t so. The problem is not that charlatans have duped the public with pseudoscience and misinformation but rather that the expert class and the institutions in which they are embedded has failed to attend to the panoply of public values that are unavoidably implicated in the construction of policy-relevant science. The solution, they argue, is not more research, better science communication, or louder condemnations of science denial. Instead, it is greater cognitive pluralism — both in how we define problems and how we shape solutions — so that both are better able to speak to a broader range of normative postures toward risk.

Much of the discussion of the “war on science” and our “post-truth” condition, of course, regards not a generalized condition but a specific controversy, the failure of policy makers to heed the recommendations of climate scientists, with many climate advocates claiming that the failure to act is the result of a sustained campaign of media disinformation underwritten by fossil fuel interests.

But in “Unbalanced: How Liberal Elites Have Cued Climate Polarization,” political scientists Eric Merkley and Dominik Stecula argue that there is little evidence to support this claim. Drawing upon a comprehensive study of three decades of news coverage of the issue, Merkley and Stecula find that mainstream media outlets, including conservative outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, have never given climate skeptics much of a platform.

That, however, is not the end of the story. The media has played a role in the polarization of attitudes about the issue, just not the role that many have imagined. “The problem with the conventional environmental story about climate denial,” Merkely and Stecula write, “is that it ignores the critical and polarizing impact of cues Republican voters received from Democratic and liberal elites.”

Over the last two decades, Republicans have become more skeptical about climate change. This is not because they were taking their cues from science denialists in the media but because they were reacting negatively to high-profile liberal and environmental climate advocates who have dominated media coverage.

That is indeed uncomfortable knowledge for those who have been overwhelmingly represented on this issue in media coverage and have shaped the broader narrative. And so partisans and environmentalists invented a conspiracy to explain their failure to win over the public rather than countenance the possibility that two decades of framing the issue in ways that served partisan and ideological ends predictably polarized the issue along partisan and ideological lines.

In “What Would Hayek Do About Climate Change,” Sagoff takes aim at neoclassical economists who argue that the problem is the result of a “market failure” that can be solved by pricing carbon. The claim misunderstands what markets and prices actually do. “Markets are for discovery, not utility,” Sagoff argues. Prices convey information, not value.

“If the American Economic Association (AEA) had its way, it would set prices in terms of its calculus of the social cost of carbon,” Sagoff writes. “Entrepreneurs would then plan not around market prices but around AEA ‘prices,’ which float in the doctrinal and political winds. This turns investment into speculation — bets on what the next administration or central committee will do.”

Hayek, Sagoff speculates, would have understood climate change not as a problem of market failure but as one of information, discovery, and innovation. He would not have objected to government acting as investor and venture capitalist, or even paying more for nascent clean energy technologies. But he would have objected to government attempting to fix markets by setting prices.

“By chanting a ritual ‘market failure’ abracadabra over social problems,” economists, Sagoff argues, “would replace a free-market economy with cost-benefit analysis, the better to achieve a figment of their mathematical imagination, i.e., welfare, being better off, or utility, which they expect to be paid to measure.”

2.

Across a long and varied career, Rayner, an anthropologist by training, was less interested in what science does in the abstract, or what its intrinsic value is, than what it is for. How do we use it? Why do we trust it? How do the sciences, and the people who interpret them for policy-makers and lay publics, help us make sense of the world, produce outcomes that we want, and make better decisions?

In these regards, Rayner was as concerned with the misuse of science, and scientific authority as he was with all that science could do. Whether it is climate scientists who demand ever more media coverage of their science, environmental advocates who insist that their political agenda is simply the law of thermodynamics writ small in social policy, or economists who imagine that they can reliably estimate the costs of climate change at the end of the century to calculate appropriate carbon tax levels today, all of the essays in this issue speak, in one way or another, to this question.

The notion that public science could reasonably characterize the costs and benefits of climate change over a century or the behavior of a nuclear waste repository over millennia, or even the global consequences of a quickly unfolding pandemic across hundreds of regions with different populations, cultures, and institutional traditions and capacities asks something of science, and the institutions in which it lives, that it could never possibly live up to.

“Nobody worries,” Rayner and Sarewitz observe, “whether laypeople trust astrophysicists who study the origins of stars or biologists who study anaerobic bacteria that cluster around deep sea vents.” Nor have most of us come to distrust surgeons or airline pilots. It is rather a particular kind of science, “making claims upon how we live and how we are governed” that so many of us no longer trust.

This sort of science has become so intensely contested in the early decades of the 21st century because the science, related as it is to the complex interface of human societies, public health, the natural world, and technology, carries so much uncertainty across so many valences of human choices and values. Lay publics are right to mistrust strong claims, whether they come from scientists, policy-makers, or advocates, based upon this sort of science.

For this reason, Rayner cared far more about civic institutions than the knowledge they embody; believing that good institutions, capable of navigating competing interests and worldviews, were more important than an idealized notion of “good science.” That perspective has proven ever more prescient and valuable as so much public science has become increasingly untethered from claims that are actually observable or testable in nature, as our expert class has become ever more unaccountable to its many competing and overconfident claims and predictions, and as our political class has become unwilling to take responsibility for their actions and decisions. The problem is not so much the science relevant to social controversies regarding risk, technology, and the environment but the elites and institutions that produce it.

As we have watched so many of our institutions fail and so much of our political culture come apart, it only becomes clearer that our capacity for self-government in advanced developed economies depends upon reestablishing a healthy interface between science, public institutions, and the publics they serve. Sadly, Steve Rayner is no longer here to help us navigate these challenges. But his work and legacy have left us a deep reserve to draw upon as we grapple our way toward what Rayner recognized would always be “clumsy solutions.”

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Sparko
March 5, 2021 6:14 am

The problem is that nearly all politicians are uneducated in science. In their efforts to appear informed, they latch on to every pseudo mumbo jumbo idea that appears to be fashionable, Real critical thinking gets you sacked at the next election.

Redge
Reply to  Sparko
March 5, 2021 6:20 am

The bigger problem is we no longer have politicians who have done a real days work in their lives or act out of principle instead of what’s in it for them.

These days, they’re all as bad as each other and about as trustworthy as a Robert Maxwell pension scheme.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Sparko
March 5, 2021 6:49 am

Certainly true. But thankfully 13/20 engineers and closely related in the COTUS are Dem’s, and will help guide the rest.

The split reflects engineering realities. They are culturally conservative, but tend to go where the facts lead….

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 7:33 am

Fascinating how only those people who agree with Bob count as being willing to follow the facts.
Of course I’m still waiting for Bob to start following the facts.

bigoilbob
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 7:43 am

Fascinating how only those people who agree with Bob count as being willing to follow the facts.”

Wut? I’m guessing that not a soul agrees with me on everything. Wife included. But yes, since I am sentient and conscientious, I do, by definition, think I’m right about the things I think I’m right about. The rest, I’m uncertain about, and/or don’t think I’m qualified to have an informed opinion about.

“Of course I’m still waiting for Bob to start following the facts.”

Mark W, clever middle school remark:

“HEY! **** YOU, MAN!!”

But I do apologize for the bullying, Mark W. I’m not that kid any more…

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 9:18 am

Once again, when confronted, Bob refuses to defend his ridiculous claims, instead he gets personal and starts tossing around the insults.
Which is what you would expect of someone who knows he is flinging lies, but can’t bring himself to admit it.

fred250
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 11:18 am

ROFLMAO.

Another totally EMPTY non-comment from a stinking empty sock

No facts, just this manic zero-content, zero-evidence blustering.

Its quite hilarious. 🙂

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 7:36 am

Really? How did they vote regarding impeachment? Were they led by the facts, or by their noses?

Last edited 4 months ago by D. J. Hawkins
Redge
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 5, 2021 10:09 am

Politicians are led by their wallets

John Tillman
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 7:37 am

In the last session, there were 11 engineers in Congress and 16 physicians. All four physicians in the new Senate are Republicans, as were the two most recent former ones.

Most of the newly elected Democrats you count as engineers wouldn’t be regarded as such by real engineers.

Meab
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 10:05 am

You made that up, Bigoilboob. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of December 17, 2020, there are 11 Members of Congress that self-identify as engineers, not 20. Perhaps you didn’t really mean engineers when you falsely claimed 20. Perhaps you meant something else? Clowns?

bigoilbob
Reply to  Meab
March 5, 2021 10:31 am

“You made that up, Bigoilboob.”

I said engineers AND RELATED. Mathematicians, rocket scientists, etc. I included them.

Count ’em up. Then identify their parties. And yes, it was for the LAST Congress. Feel free to Cliffie Clavin me all you want on that, and to update the count. But I’ll bet you a coke that my comment still stands up, qualitatively.

https://insight.ieeeusa.org/articles/engineers-in-congress/

Last edited 4 months ago by bigoilbob
bigoilbob
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 10:48 am

Must admit that they also forgot Harvard physicist turned Marine Officer/Action Hero, Seth Moulton. You know, the guy who had to be outed by the MSM on his heroism because he didn’t mention it in his campaign….

meab
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 6, 2021 3:31 pm

Leave it up to you, BigBoob, to include a congressman who had to resign in disgrace (Collins), another one that got voted out over a financial controversy (Cox), Yet another one is actually an Attorney, and only got a bachelor’s in ocean engineering ( Cunningham) and had a complaint filed against him for illegally misrepresenting himself, two weren’t able to complete graduate school in Engineering (Heinrich and Hern (who is now an MBA)), one failed in his Senate bid and is no longer in Congress (Kennedy), one is a PhD Political Scientist with a BA in Engineering and a Business Degree (Lipinski), one claims to be a nuclear engineer but actually has degrees in Physics and History with a minor in French, and an MS in Engineering Management (a Business degree) (Luria). She only went to the Naval Nuclear Power School but isn’t degreed in Nuclear Engineering. One has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and later an Associates Degree in Computing ( Rosen). One has an MBA with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and has only worked in Life Insurance (Schneider).

That’s as far as I got before I became disgusted with you. Only a handful of the Congressmen in the list you referenced can credibly call themselves an Engineer.

Meab
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 1:28 pm

No, you said “closely related”. What’s ” closely related to an engineer? Her husband?

Listen up, boob, there’s a big difference between engineering and the non-engineering part of many of the STEM disciplines claimed by Congressmen and women. To combine diciplines that aren’t even remotely connected into a misleading tally just shows that you’re either dishonest, a sloppy writer/thinker, or ignorant. Which is it?

bigoilbob
Reply to  Meab
March 5, 2021 2:05 pm

Apparently you did not even look at the list. Which of the 20 is not “closely related” to engineering duties? I haven’t perused their PDR’s, but you obviously haven’t either. Unless all 20 are resume stretching, there’s nothing “misleading” in this list.

Bigger pic, Dem’s RULE STEM in the US. The fact that a majority of STEMMERS in the CONUS are Dem’s just backs that up. It also shows in this fora, where intuition and Dan Kahan System 2 selective hysterical blindness are used instead of scientific inquiry.

https://slate.com/technology/2010/12/most-scientists-in-this-country-are-democrats-that-s-a-problem.html

https://www.wired.com/story/tech-workers-overwhelmingly-support-democrats/

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 3:32 pm

Social sciences are not science, and those who pretend to practice it are not scientists.

bigoilbob
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 3:54 pm

I agree. No one is discussing social scientists in this thread. Somedays it’s just HARD for you, eh?

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 6:50 pm

Refuting your nonsense is never hard. I can do it with half my brain tied behind my back.

jtom
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 6, 2021 8:29 am

2010? Many democrats in 2010 were more conservative than today’s conservatives. Hillary was saying marriage was only between a man and a woman up until 2012.

Additionally, many work in a university environment and would find life easier to officially be a Democrat regardless of actual belief. Who wants to be victim of abuse in your job over something not related to your interest?

It would be interesting to do a study of the political leanings of scientists having jobs where they must produce real results, with consequences for being wrong – corporate and private engineers, those in corporate R & D, private weather forecasters, etc.

I suspect the numbers would be significantly different.

MarkW
Reply to  Meab
March 5, 2021 3:30 pm

BOb is neither a scientist nor an engineer, so don’t expect him to be able to answer that question.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 6, 2021 1:22 am

Working in Engineering does not make you an Engineer.

*I* work in Engineering. Are you suggesting I am an Engineer?

You do seem to be playing with words, young Bob.

Also, remember that the counter side of this argument is that being an Engineer automatically makes you useful. If you believe that then clearly you have never had to deal with Grads.

fred250
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 11:15 am

The more the big oily blob types…

… the more it is obvious that his engineering non-skills a just a FAKE bravado facade.

Must be hard being a failure as a oil rig janitor. !

Lets see if the blob has any actual evidence of even the most basic fallacy of the carbon-hatred he espouses.

See if he can back up ANY of his incessant whinging and wimpering.

1… Do you have any empirical scientific evidence for warming by atmospheric CO2?

2… In what ways has the global climate changed in the last 50 years , that can be scientifically proven to be of human released CO2 causation?

Lrp
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 2:55 pm

You’re a conceited moron

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 3:00 pm

What’s wrong with this picture? They don’t fit the stereotype of the hard sciences versus the soft ‘sciences’ typically found in academia.

Perhaps these 13 are candidates for the B Ark who couldn’t cut it in the STEM field and decided to go for the easy money, along with the career politicians and the lawyers who realized they would never make ‘senior partner’ in their firm. If so, I wouldn’t give much credence to the idea that they are objective, left-hemisphere thinkers. It is basically a contradiction in terms to suggest that those who “go where the facts lead” choose the party known for empathy, compassion, and fiscal irresponsibility — the classical ‘bleeding heart’ — and have difficulty understanding science. Maybe they thought that with such a low bar, they could stand out in the Democrat party.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 5, 2021 4:01 pm

 It is basically a contradiction in terms to suggest that those who “go where the facts lead” choose the party known for empathy, compassion, and fiscal irresponsibility….”

“fiscal irresponsibility”?. More Clydesdalian urban mythology, folks.

https://towardsdatascience.com/which-party-adds-more-to-deficits-a6422c6b00d7

MarkW
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 5, 2021 6:51 pm

Once again Bob declares his right to his own facts.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  bigoilbob
March 6, 2021 10:46 am

Your linked article is a shallow and biased analysis because it focuses just on dollars and not on how the deficit is being spent.

Which contributes more to long-term growth in prosperity, 1) social welfare programs (providing fish), or 2) investment in defense and technology (teaching people how to fish)? Defense programs like Arpanet, which evolved into the Internet, and GPS, created whole new industries and new jobs, significantly impacting the computing and ‘chip’ industries as well. Even the space program has been credited (albeit the credit is controversial) with significant technological commercialization. Miniaturization for missiles and space probes led directly to ‘smart phones,’ which even people in Third World countries own in large numbers.

If a federal deficit serves as a capital investment, which individual companies are unwilling or unable to do, then it stimulates the economy. If a federal deficit only maintains the status quo, then other than for emergency situations, it is money largely wasted. I would call that irresponsible.

That’s all folks!

John Tillman
Reply to  Sparko
March 5, 2021 7:47 am

As Feynman said, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

As exemplified by Dr. FauXi.

Feynman continued, “When someone says, “Science teaches such and such”, he is using the word incorrectly.”

In the same “cargo cult” speech, he warned against the growth in “pseudoscientific advisers” in government.

A bad transcript in spots:

http://www.feynman.com/science/what-is-science/

C. Earl Jantzi
Reply to  Sparko
March 5, 2021 11:23 am

The real problem is that all these “smart” people couldn’t pass a basic science quiz to get out of 4th grade. If you know the basics of the photosynthesis process that undergirds OUR ENTIRE FOOD SUPPLY, you would know that without CO2 the process STOPS and we have NO food. Therefore no animal life on Earth. The process stops at 180ppm. We are currently at 400ppm. The Navy sets the alarm in submarines at 8,000ppm. When the dinosaurs roamed and the world was lush with plant life, we were in the many thousands of ppm.
It’s a SCAM to take your money and give it to someone else, and get nothing in return.

Corky
Reply to  Sparko
March 6, 2021 10:38 am

We each are the sum of our experiences. That is why when you expose a truly diverse group of people to the same event, many different conclusions can be reached. The political elites of today are no different in their perspectives than were the old blood lines – I’ve been anointed (appointed, elected) to this position because I am “truly special.” And from there flows the problems because our problems and their problems look nothing alike. They learn that as they rise through the ranks that truly solving problems will require them to look to another problem to solve, and that is just not their bag. And it exposes their true goal which is control of the behavior of others.

dodgy geezer
March 5, 2021 6:16 am

…our social and political institutions lose a little more credibility.

How can they lose any more?

MarkW
Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 5, 2021 7:33 am

See my post on the kid who failed all but 3 classes over 4 years of high school, but still managed to place in the top half of his class.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 10:21 am

And his incompetent mother, who raised him without a father, blamed the school.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 5, 2021 8:25 pm

The school was at least partly responsible, for moving him along to the next level courses after he failed the first level. Did they expect him to be a whiz at Algebra 2 after failing Algebra 1?

Kpar
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 11:13 am

With a 0.13 GPA.

Spetzer86
March 5, 2021 6:21 am

Hmm, what goes around comes around. Several of the “unknown” information tidbits could’ve come from W. Edwards Deming several decades ago: https://deming.org/unknown-and-unknowable-data/

Deming also had an opinion on management and employee evaluations that are still good reading.

Kpar
Reply to  Spetzer86
March 5, 2021 11:16 am

The Japanese have, as their highest industrial award, “The W. Edwards Deming Award”. He almost singlehandedly created the miracle of post-war Japan’s economy…

Steve Case
March 5, 2021 6:22 am

“. Lay publics are right to mistrust strong claims,”

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” and we aren’t seeing any proof let along extraordinary proof.

On another front the labelling a box of masks we are all wearing says”:

“This product … DOES NOT eliminate the risk of contracting any disease or infection…”

Dr. Fauci a year ago said they didn’t do any good. That’s ignored too.

Unknown knowns & Jumbo Shrimp I guess it works.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
March 5, 2021 8:28 pm

“This product … DOES NOT eliminate the risk of contracting any disease or infection…”

It’s kind of disingenuous to suggest that means the mask is totally ineffective at the task. An N95 mask is not going to eliminate the risk, but it will reduce it.

Lee L
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 7, 2021 1:46 pm

More to the point, it REDUCES the risk you pass on the virus to others if you happen to have it and do not know that you do.

Peta of Newark
March 5, 2021 6:40 am

Exactly…
Quote:
“”Rayner, an anthropologist by training, was less interested in what science does in the abstract, or what its intrinsic value is, than what it is for. How do we use it? Why do we trust it?“”

I’ve not said it recently but have previously raved:
Step back. Step right back and look at The Big Picture

He had it all:
Quote:
“”To those three categories Rayner added a fourth, “unknown knowns” — the things we actually know but pretend we don’t“”

We All Know That The Green House Gas Effect Is Total Crap

Why: It trashes Entropy
period

Last edited 4 months ago by Peta of Newark
Rpercifield
March 5, 2021 6:47 am

Interesting that they do not look at the failed predictions, hypocrisy of the scientists and leaders surrounding CAGW, and the understanding by the lay persons of the inability of the current climate science to predict the next winter no less the temperature 100 years in the future. Also even though the elites don’t believe it people know that when you change the name and move the goalposts to get what you want it is no longer science but a belief system. People who are not aligned with the elites know when you ask a believer in CAGW what would falsify their theory and state nothing that is not science but a religion.

Given this the inconvenient and painful truth, is that when you blame everything on CAGW, the science is diluted and eventually disappears for being wrong and thus becoming a religion.

Nick Schroeder
March 5, 2021 6:53 am

Knowns.

How it does not work.
 
By reflecting away 30% of the incoming solar radiation the albedo, which would not exist w/o the atmosphere and its so-called GreenHouse Gases, makes the earth cooler than it would be without the atmos/GHGs much like that reflective panel propped up on the car dash. Remove the atmos/GHGs and the earth becomes much like the moon, an arid, barren rock with a 0.1 albedo, 20% more kJ/h, hot^3 on the lit side, cold^3 on the dark.
If this is correct, the Radiative GreenHouse Effect theory fails.

For the GHGs to warm the surface with downwelling energy as advertised they must absorb/trap/delay/intercept “extra” energy from somewhere in the atmospheric system. According to RGHE theory the source of that “extra” upwelling energy is the surface radiating as a near ideal Black Body. As demonstrated by experiment the surface cannot radiate BB because of cooling by the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the contiguous atmospheric molecules.
If this is correct, RGHE theory fails.

How it does works.
 
To move fluid through a hydraulic resistance requires a pressure difference.
To move current through an electrical resistance requires a voltage difference.
To move heat through a thermal resistance requires a temperature difference. (Q=UAdT)
Physics be physics.

The complex thermal resistance (R=1/U) of the atmosphere (esp albedo, net Q) is responsible for the temperature difference (dT=Tsurf-Ttoa) between the warm terrestrial surface and the cold edge of space (32 km).
And that heat transfer process involves the kinetic energy of ALL of the atmospheric molecules not just 0.04% of them.

Capitalist-Dad
March 5, 2021 6:59 am

Maybe I misremember, but at one time long ago I’m certain I read there were five major climate models—none of which were accurate enough to correctly predict changes that actually occurred. And the predictions were off by huge amounts as the facts stubbornly resisted the computer modelers. In a sane and healthy (and unpolitical) science community this might have prompted additional research and modeling refinements until there was some agreed unified model of climate. Instead, missed predictions prompted name changes from global cooling to global warming, and finally the “good no matter what” climate change. At the same time AGW advocates became increasingly strident, as this article points out, branding any opponents as “deniers”, and making sure climate scientists that refused to toe the Party Line had problems getting grants and publishing their work. Only a few weeks ago WUWT reported on certain modeling that significantly missed the mark. There were 27 models involved in this bogus forecast. Plus the “solutions” to the “problem” are the usual ones: less freedom and more taxation for those who used to be simply “Deplorables” but who have now been downgraded by the demented weirdo in the White House to Neanderthals. This is why there’s a Grand Canyon sized credibility gap when it comes to climate science.

lackawaxen123
Reply to  Capitalist-Dad
March 5, 2021 7:43 am

yep, taking an “average” of 5 rotten models doesn’t lead to more accuracy …

chemman
Reply to  lackawaxen123
March 5, 2021 11:31 am

By misusing statistics they will claim that it does.

Dr. Vigo
March 5, 2021 7:25 am

💥 POW! I haven’t read it yet and the heading just blew my mind. This is one of the tools that I tell students to use to learn how to do research in science. Unknown Unknowns will take you to a greater investigation. I’m myself very dedicated to observe this Unknown Unknowns when people pretend to be Absolutely Assertive when it comes to scientific issues, including the existence of God. The unknown unknowns in science are precisely the reason why the two most prevalent theories of science Quantum Mechanics and Relativity are incomplete and not to be taken as absolute because they have infinities, divergences, imaginary numbers, discontinuities, and divisions by zero. The theory with less of all of that, especially infinities and divisions by zero, has more Self Consistency. No theory is self-consistent enough to explain life and the universe, period. I defend unknown unknowns very fiercely in a few publications I did in the field of Theoretical/Philosophical Physics to show that unknowns in science leave the door wide open to big speculations of external interventions. You see, the literature has words recorded from past scientists, pioneers of the most significant contributions in Physics, agreeing that Science is NOT to describe life/the universe as if to decipher what exactly it is, but rather, it is a tool that we humans have to represent its behavior. For example, the fact that atoms are part vibrations in quantum chemistry, treated with the math of sinusoids, does NOT mean that the substance making life is actually a wave. The only thing that we humans can affirm is that our methods of waves mechanics are a good tool to help us understand how can we work with it to
improve our lives, as in using that knowledge as a model to build electronics, make drugs, run an entire industry… The unknown unknowns are telling us that 1) you never know for sure what is life and the universe, 2) no one knows what’s outside of life and the universe, a place where most likely our science collapses and has no use as a tool to understand that outside behavior. Unfortunately, the vision of mundane humans cannot reach to
see that deep aspect of unknown unknowns as educated individuals do. Notice how many scientists have the tendency to never affirm anything absolutely, because the wise scientist knows that there are unknown characters like Random Motion that can change the outcome or prediction of a measured event. All of this gets more complicated because of Unknown Knowns, I have myself observed an angle of that: the answer to many mysteries of life is “lost” in the literature! The myriad of info that when put together as a huge puzzle of the enigmas of life and existence is already widely spread in a huge pile of disorganized info starting from Scriptures from eons ago. Lack of education and procrastination buries the info deeper, abandoned, leading people to constantly “re-invent the wheel” of knowledge, stuck in the same fundamentals. I thank the autor for having such a wise deep view in this issue. Will read. Jimmy Vigo, PhD.

Kpar
Reply to  Dr. Vigo
March 5, 2021 11:22 am

Rather well stated, Jimmy. IMHO.

Jon
Reply to  Dr. Vigo
March 5, 2021 11:57 am

I think about ‘unknown knowns’ when I discover a talent I did not know I had. I had the talent to do something (at some level I knew how to do it), but did know know I had that talent.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jon
March 5, 2021 4:06 pm

I think about ‘unknown knowns’ when I discover a talent I did not know I had. I had the talent to do something (at some level I knew how to do it), but did know know I had that talent.

That’s interesting, I’d never thought of it like that.

I decided to take a part-time degree in computing, because I liked messing around with computers and making them do what I wanted. One day while working on a programming assignment, it came clear in my mind. I could perfectly visualise what the code was doing. From that moment it became almost trivial for me to write effective code, the only challenge was finding the correct mechanism to achieve it, and the Internet provides most of that.

I jacked in my job, went into the degree full time, and came out with a 1st class honours degree, and pursued a very rewarding career in software development. All because I discovered that unkown known of how to visualise code.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
March 6, 2021 5:26 pm

The lightbulb turned on! Don’t you love when that happens!

I’ll love when that kind of awakening over the Earth’s climate turns on for the alarmists. In groups, or one at a time.

MarkW
March 5, 2021 7:28 am

This article may explain why so many young people remain vulnerable to the lies of the AGW crowd.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/baltimore-student-fails-classes-top-half

This young man failed all but 3 classes in four years, has a GPA of 0.13, yet placed 62 out of 120 students in his class.

Neo
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 8:02 am

Give the man a participation trophy.

MarkW
March 5, 2021 7:29 am

Where do the things we know, that aren’t true fall?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 2:26 pm

They fall where they will, and never the Twain shall meet.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 8:33 pm

They fall into the categories of Blind Faith and Confirmation Bias.

Reply to  MarkW
March 6, 2021 1:44 am

That is exactly what has always irked me about Rumsfeld’s infamous saying! Where is the logical introspection, the self awareness?

His stupefying riddle is lacking the word “think”.

We can know only what we think! We think we know or we think we don’t. But to paraphrase Shakespeare: ‘nothing is true or false that thinking makes it so!’

Things unthought are things unconsidered and by definition are unknowns that are unknown!

MarkW
March 5, 2021 7:31 am

Success at containing the virus in Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan doesn’t count because they are Asian countries. New Zealand does because they are like “us.”

When the author assumes racism on the part of those who disagree, then nothing else they say is worth listening to.

lackawaxen123
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 7:45 am

seriously … he wasn’t making that judgement you tool … he was pointing out the “experts” are the ones making that assumption … and FYI ITS NOT RACISM to think different cultures/people may have different reactions to a virus …

MarkW
Reply to  lackawaxen123
March 5, 2021 9:21 am

One, the author is a woman.
Two, the quote is the author’s.
Actually, it is racism to assume that the virus would affect different races differrently.

Kpar
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 11:25 am

I do not think you understood lackawaxen’s post.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Kpar
March 5, 2021 8:34 pm

I agree.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 8:34 pm

Does Sickle-Cell Anemia affect different races differently?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
March 6, 2021 5:31 pm

“When the author assumes racism on the part of those who disagree, then nothing else they say is worth listening to.”

Yes, and if the author is referring to the United States he should know that the United States has people who live in it that originate from Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and every other nation on Earth.

So the U.S. *can* say everyone in the world looks like us, because it’s true.

Esman
March 5, 2021 7:38 am

Surely we have known about the ‘unknown knowns’ for some time; more commonly referred to as ‘sticking your fingers in your ears and singing “La la, la la” ‘ ?

Kpar
Reply to  Esman
March 5, 2021 11:25 am

Good one!

fretslider
March 5, 2021 7:40 am

normative views about nature inform science as it relates to risk, technology, and the environment

It’s all about who gets to say what’s good and what isn’t…

because they were reacting negatively to high-profile liberal and environmental climate advocates who have dominated media coverage.

The real breakthrough – in the UK at least – was 28 gate and that was quite some time ago.

These days, Roger Harrabin wages a one man campaign against a coal mine in Cumbria on the BBC. So biased it’s beyond parody, I believe Paul Homewood has a complaint in about it.

The last time the BBC had Nigel Lawson on for comment (GWPF) the BBC was forced to apologise for it.

The BBC has apologised for an interview with Lord Lawson in which the climate change denier was allowed to make…

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/bbc-apologises-failing-challenge-climate-change-denier-lord-lawson-99545

High-profile liberal and environmental climate advocates are given dominant coverage by design. Had Lawson not been a prominent Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Lord….

Last edited 4 months ago by fretslider
lackawaxen123
March 5, 2021 7:40 am

the climate frauds do not practice science they practice propaganda for power, money and fame …

BCofTexas
March 5, 2021 7:47 am

Years ago I worked in a real lab that did actual measurements. Computers were used for data collection and analysis. The big boss wanted to close down our efforts in favor of modeling. To quote “all a scientist needs is a desk and a computer to do good science.” We lost our government funding and I left for greener pastures. A few years later I got a call from the big boss begging for a job, any job at any level. But his mindset did win out in the long run and almost no one does those dirty lab experiments anymore. The cost to real science will never be known but I can see today that it is huge.

fretslider
Reply to  BCofTexas
March 5, 2021 7:58 am

Years ago I worked in a real lab that did actual measurements.

Ditto However what really changed in my time was the move from shall we say more traditional methods to what was then being called push-button chemistry.

Needless to say there were a lot of job losses.

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 5, 2021 7:53 am

‘What would Hayek do about climate change’?

Nothing, because he would have known that the whole caboodle is nonsense used by the collectivist left as an instrument of control.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ed Zuiderwijk
Interested Observer
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
March 5, 2021 7:31 pm

“…right-wing populists, conspiracists, and alternative healers are waging a war on science…”

It’s telling that the author ignores the Marxist jihadis who are waging a religious war on anything with which they disagree under the cover of “Science”. Marxists are all liars, cheats, thieves & murderers and they use the word “Science” when they really mean “Do whatever we tell you to do or else!”

Get rid of the Marxists and all this nonsense goes away. Unfortunately, the rot has set in and the only question is: Can we kill Marxism before it kills us?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Interested Observer
March 6, 2021 5:37 pm

“Unfortunately, the rot has set in and the only question is: Can we kill Marxism before it kills us?”

Yes, that’s the question. Time will tell.

Caligula Jones
March 5, 2021 8:10 am

Indeed.

I’ve know this as, a government health information analyst, I see the politics interfering constantly with data.

I first really noticed it with HIV. Couldn’t produce anything that confirmed the “known known”, that as a famous Toronto politician once said (when he was a counsellor discussing AIDS funding):

“if you’re not doing needles and you’re not gay, you won’t get AIDS, probably.”

A rather succinct review of the data (in Canada at least), shows that even in 2019 “doing needles” was 21.5% and “gay” (actually the quaint term gbMSM) is 39.7% with “both” being 4.8%. I think most people would consider this “probably”.

And this is where “Exposure category unknown or not reported (“missing”) is at 39.3% (we’ll call that category “mostly embarrassed or liars” – if someone is going to not tell or lie about something it will be IV drug use or being in the closet – you’ll have to trust me on this).

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/reports-publications/canada-communicable-disease-report-ccdr/monthly-issue/2021-47/issue-1-january-2021/hiv-surveillance-report-2019.html

BTW ran into this today from way long ago last year at this time:

https://medium.com/@wpegden/a-call-to-honesty-in-pandemic-modeling-5c156686a64b

Public health depends on public trust. If we claim now that our models show that 2 months of mitigations will cut deaths by 90%, why will anyone believe us 2 months from now when the story has to change?”

And as our good friend Steve McIntyre has pointed out about Canada’s incredibly inaccurate model that would lead to criminal charges if it were a private company hyping its stock:

https://twitter.com/ClimateAudit/status/1367518392161288195

so how close are variants to reaching 40%? Between Feb 15 and Feb 28, there were 226 (535-309) new cases of B.1.1.7 (UK) variant. In the same period, there were 15007 (301839-286832) total new cases. About 1.5%.

In Canada, our Prime Minister is a high school drama teacher with a famous dad, our health minister is a marketer, and our finance minister is journalist.

Yeah, I’d want to battle a pandemic with that team…

commieBob
Reply to  Caligula Jones
March 5, 2021 8:53 am

Chrystia Freeland is persona non grata in Russia. She’s one of the few politicians who understands just what a s**t storm the Soviet Union was. As far as I can tell, she’s smarter than anyone else on Parliament Hill.

I have some big unanswered questions about Chrystia but, given the choice between her and Erin O’Toole, I would pick her for Prime Minister. It can’t happen but my dream team would include the best talent among both the Liberals and Conservatives and maybe one from the NDP.

It’s said that the Liberals run from the left and govern from the right. The poster boy would be Jean Chretien who did a better job of reducing the deficit than any other PM in my memory. Sadly, we are currently saddled with a guy who dances with unicorns. 🙁 /rant

commieBob
March 5, 2021 8:29 am

I am reminded of a lady I used to know. She and her husband were both social workers. He, for whatever reason, always won the arguments. Her husband’s logic and facts seemed airtight even though she knew she was getting shafted. The pain was very real and couldn’t be ignored. (I’m happy to report that her next partner was a wonderful guy.)

Why is it that some right wing people come off looking like raving nut cases? One obvious reason is that the left wing media is willing to give those particular people all the publicity they want in order to tar the whole right wing.

The other reason is this: What do you do when you know you’re getting shafted but the shafters have a never ending supply of excuses and logic? You’re not even sure how, exactly, you’re getting shafted. The pain is real though. If you say anything, it’s likely to be stupid. If it can be construed as racist, sexist, or homophobic, that gives the left an excuse to call you a hillbilly and ignore your plight.

The left has lots of unknown knowns. I would say the biggest is the workers whose jobs were sent to China and who thus had the American Dream snatched from their grasp. The Donald called them the forgotten people. The left calls them the deplorables. It dehumanizes them in the same way the enemy is dehumanized in times of war. It’s an excuse for not caring about the horrible things they’ve done to them.

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
March 5, 2021 9:29 am

The lady who was fired from “The Mandalorian” pointed out that Hitler didn’t start out sending the Jews to the camps. He prepared the ground first. He spent a decade slowly dehumanizing the Jews, blaming everything on them, and slowly separating them from the rest of society. By the time he was ready to start rounding up the Jews, the rest of the population was willing to look the other way, if not actively help.
The treatment of conservatives by liberals today, is similar to the treatment of Jews back in the early 1930’s.

The rhetoric is being ramped up and conservatives are finding it more and more difficult to get jobs, without hiding their beliefs.

I’m wondering if the Capital Hill riots will turn out to be our version of the Reichstag fire.
The Democrats have certainly used it as an excuse to ramp up the rhetoric and are using it as a cover for HR1, which will eliminate even the possibility of fair elections from here on out.

Recently an reporter from MSNBC declared that conservatives would gladly give up all the tax cuts we’ve championed for years, if only we could start using the “N” word again. (No, not Neanderthal)
A number of prominent progressives have suggested re-education camps for those who supported Trump.
A number of prominent progressive groups have demanded that nobody who worked for Trump should be allowed to work for anyone, ever again.

Last edited 4 months ago by MarkW
commieBob
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 10:52 am

They’ve replaced Rules for Radicals with Mein Kampf … or something like that.

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
March 5, 2021 12:27 pm

Supplemented, not replaced.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
March 6, 2021 5:47 pm

“Recently an reporter from MSNBC declared that conservatives would gladly give up all the tax cuts we’ve championed for years, if only we could start using the “N” word again. (No, not Neanderthal)”

A perfect example of how ignorant and delusional those on the radical left can be. This reporter may actually believe what he is saying. That’s how ignorant he is. I don’t know how you fix this kind of ignorance.

The world this reporter sees must be a terrible place. He’s living in a horrible place in his head when in the real world it is nothing like what is in his head. But he can’t see it.

Leftwing Brainwashing is a horrible thing.

Common sense therapy is recommended. And turn off CNN.

Joseph Zorzin
March 5, 2021 8:43 am

Now the MSM thinks the only reason some people object to leftist causes is disinformation.

“Disinformation Is Among the Greatest Threats to Our Democracy. Here Are Three Key Ways to Fight It”
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/disinformation-is-among-the-greatest-threats-to-our-democracy-here-are-three-key-ways-to-fight-it/ar-BB1ehr4A?ocid=Peregrine

ldd
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 5, 2021 4:36 pm

MSM or LSM are the problem – in their current corrupted state; they are as evil as those who supported the Nazis. Use to be we could trust our media to a certain extent – now they outright lie to our faces for millions in their personal pockets.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 6, 2021 5:51 pm

“the Greatest Threats to Our Democracy”

“Our Democracy” should be interpreted as “Our Socialist State”.

Whenever radical Democrats talk about “our” democracy or “our” American people, they are only talking about the socialists among us. The rest of us don’t count or exist to the radical Democrats.

Joe Crawford
March 5, 2021 8:48 am

“… have become more skeptical about climate change. This is not because they were taking their cues from science denialists in the media but because they were reacting negatively to high-profile liberal and environmental climate advocates who have dominated media coverage.

I learned a long time ago that when someone refuses to debate or even discuss an issue it is usually because their position is a belief and not logically derived. And, no one wants their beliefs questioned. The ‘Climate Science’ community’s refusal to debate and their attempt to silence all dissent is at least to me proof positive that they know how thin is the science backing their position. Science requires skepticism, certainly not consensus.

Kpar
Reply to  Joe Crawford
March 5, 2021 11:31 am

Case in point: Albert Gore Jr.

Vuk
March 5, 2021 9:06 am

To make it worse our PM before he became politician was a journalist, mind you it would be ok if he was serious one, but his most notable articles were about bent bananas and square eggs. Only time you could believe anything he said was when he was calling for help getting stuck on a zip wire.comment image

Last edited 4 months ago by Vuk
griff
March 5, 2021 9:34 am

Over the last two decades, Republicans have become more skeptical about climate change. This is not because they were taking their cues from science denialists in the media..’

Indeed not. It is because they’ve been taking campaign money from climate skeptic and fossil fuel funded think tanks and lobby groups.

Vuk
Reply to  griff
March 5, 2021 9:57 am

Hi Griffo, nice to hear from you.
What makes you think that successful companies would donate their shareholders’ money to lunatics who every fortnight scream ‘the world is just about to turn into burning hell’.

Kpar
Reply to  griff
March 5, 2021 11:33 am

Or maybe it’s because none of the Alarmists predictions have come true?

fred250
Reply to  griff
March 5, 2021 11:37 am

Poor griff, STILL doesn’t have a clue about “science”

The FACT is that there IS NO CLIMATE CRISIS..

… and the IS NO EVIDENCE of warming by human released CO2..

Griff lives in intense DENIAL of this fact.

This GROSS INABILITY to ACCEPT REALITY shows just how DERANGED and DELUDED his tiny mind really is.

Mr.
Reply to  griff
March 5, 2021 11:45 am

griff, you seem to relish ignorance.

Here’s a link that reveals the sources of the $billions that greenies spent on global warming propaganda –

Environmentalists Spent a Record $2.4 Billion Pushing Global Warming Ideology

https://capitalresearch.org/article/environmentalists-spent-a-record-2-4-billion-pushing-global-warming-ideology/

Meanwhile, skeptics receive sfa from industry.
In fact, oil & mining companies spend loads of $$$s sucking up to the green machine.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mr.
March 5, 2021 8:50 pm

Indeed. Apparently Griff missed the part where CRU received funding from big oil in the Phil Jones era.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
March 5, 2021 12:29 pm

Once again, griff demonstrates that his only skill is lying. Over and over again.

You can’t find a single instance of a skeptic being paid by big oil, yet you keep repeat the lie.
Then again, since even you have to be aware that there never has been any science behind the AGW myth, lies are all you have left.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
March 5, 2021 2:32 pm

“It is because they’ve been taking campaign money from climate skeptic and fossil fuel funded think tanks and lobby groups.”

The evidence for your fact-free claim?

TheLastDemocrat
March 5, 2021 10:06 am

“Market failure” is a thing.
Just as “Market Success” is.

“Market Success:” the demand for products or services provides the drive for someone, somewhere, to bring the product or service to market, for the potential buyers.

The miracle of “The Market” is it seems like everything “we” might need or want is out there in the “market,” with the “market” finding the price that is just right.

To a large extent, this is true. Just peruse Amazon, or watch an episode of Shark Tank.

We have plenty of worthy pharmaceuticals driven by “the market.” [And also some unworthy pharmaceuticals.] “The Market” is helping us with diabetes, measles, etc.

That is “Market Success.”

“Market Failure:” a pharmaceutical product exists, but there is no willing producer for the price the potential buyers are willing to hand over.

An example is: any “orphaned” drug – any approved drug no longer made because there are too few buyers (at the price a producer is willing to make it for). The handful of people in need are not served by the Market.

To have “Market Succeess” and “Market Failure,” though, requires some over-arching judgment: a drug should be available for people with this condition or disorder, even if they do not have much money and there are not many of these patients.

We should have cheap, pleasant interstate travel, even if there is no private market entrepreneur himself or herself developing a private Interstate Highway System.

There is “Market Failure” for the local private fire department; no one is OK with only subscribing homes being able to call on their local private-contract fire department to come out as might their local food-delivery service. We believe “even if the market does not sustain a fire department market, the fire trucks should still be ready, 24-7.”

The secret is in the over-arching judgment. Some judge that we all need to be disincentivized away from “carbon.” If so, the market has failed. Myself, I don’t believe that lower carbon consumption is needed, so I don’t value that, and I don’t see a “Market Failure.”

All this to say: “Market Failure” is not mere bureaucrat-talk to get their way; it is a real thing. Plus, it does depend on this judgment that something is needed, something ought to be done or be available.

MarkW
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
March 5, 2021 12:34 pm

As near as I can tell, TheLastDemocrat is declaring that it is a market failure, everytime the market doesn’t provide him with something at the price he wants to pay.
Therefore government should step in, tax someone else, and provide the stuff Democrat wants.

Mr.
Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 2:30 pm

Governments like to exercise intervention on needs they consider are “for the common good”

Where this ALWAYS falls apart though, is that governments generally have zero skill at determining which demographics are covered by “common”, and then what defines “good”.

(one thing is certain though – and that is that politicians & bureaucrats will always ensure that “good” means good for them 1st & foremost)

n.n
March 5, 2021 10:38 am

“clean energy technologies”

Gray technology. The Green Blight? Uncomfortable knowledge? There is an ethical code, ostensibly “secular” religion, to avoid reconciliation.

Semantic games. Conceptual corruption. Conflation of logical domains.

chemman
March 5, 2021 11:23 am

“But his work and legacy have left us a deep reserve to draw upon as we grapple our way toward what Rayner recognized would always be “clumsy solutions.”

IOW; muddling through.

Robert of Texas
March 5, 2021 1:40 pm

Once education has been replaced by indoctrination, a stronger, more controlling central government and less freedoms are inedible.

We have already seen the collapse of the free press – they no longer serve the people but instead special interest groups most of which are liberal and set on grabbing power and wealth.

OweninGA
March 5, 2021 1:50 pm

Maybe I misread this, but to me it looked like a snake oil salesman complaining that the customers aren’t buying the “cure” because they saw the snake it came from.

Anon
March 5, 2021 1:54 pm

Over the last two decades, Republicans have become more skeptical about climate change. This is not because they were taking their cues from science denialists in the media but because they were reacting negatively to high-profile liberal and environmental climate advocates who have dominated media coverage.

Amazing !!! That is 100% true in my case. I was even teaching CAGW (out of the textbook) at University: the more technical topics that some of the “studies” professors struggled with.

I never questioned what I was teaching until 2016, when Wikileaks published the Podesta Emails that showed John Podesta and Think Progress attacking Roger Pielke Jr. (a remote acquaintance). So, when I saw that, I couldn’t understand why politicians would being going after scientists and that triggered a long and deep look at the actual theories and data… and a look at what the skeptic community was saying (2016 was my first encounter).

The result was that I went back to teaching the fundamental sciences, and no longer teach CAGW (and will not, unless I can give time to both sides of the argument and let the students decide.) And I have even gone back and have apologized to some of the students I uncourteously dismissed when they brought up skeptical positions.

This article is spot-on in my case.

Last edited 4 months ago by Anon
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Anon
March 6, 2021 10:07 am

Climategate didn’t do it for you?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Anon
March 6, 2021 6:01 pm

Good for you. And us.

Too bad so many other scientists and teachers don’t do their own due dilligence with regard to Human-caused Climate Change. They could find the holes in the theory just like you did, but most of them don’t even look, they just accept the narrative without question. That’s not science. That’s not logic. That’s not common sense.

n.n
March 5, 2021 2:22 pm

It’s not the framing, but rather observable, reproducible, deductive processes that opened a breach in the consensus. The former simply offered incentive to follow the science in lieu of the narrative.

Rud Istvan
March 5, 2021 2:29 pm

Commented over at Judiths. We just had a graphic demonstration of unknown knowns in the ERCOT grid. We know renewables (wind in this case) are intermittent. We know any penetration beyond about 10% is destabilizing and requires additional supplemental backup. ERCOT wind penetration was about 25% but there was insufficient additional backup because ERCOT ran an energy only market, with no supplemental capacity market.

John Sandhofner
March 5, 2021 2:51 pm

Good article with lots of valuable insights as to what we are dealing with socially. The claim that there is no such thing as absolute truth is at the heart of this problem.

u.k.(us)
March 5, 2021 3:14 pm

“clumsy”, one of main reasons I live in a one-story house.

John Shepherd
March 5, 2021 3:34 pm

Rumsfeld got that from a guy named Rich Haver, just saying.

It isn’t the unknown unknowns that kill you, it’s the unknown knowns, little pieces of information that get overlooked, that do you in.

Roger Knights
Reply to  John Shepherd
March 5, 2021 5:43 pm

Rumsfeld got that from a guy named Rich Haver, just saying.”

Thanks; I THOUGHT I’d seen it said before!

jmorpuss
March 5, 2021 3:46 pm

Rockefeller Foundation’s Operation Lockstep: ‘Under The Guise Of A Pandemic, We Will Create A Prison State’Rockefeller Foundation Operation Lockstep: ‘Under the Guise of a Pandemic, We Will Create a Prison State’ (humansarefree.com)

“Under the guise of a pandemic, we will create a prison state”
Right from the horse’s mouth. And is it not right now looking just like a police state?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  jmorpuss
March 6, 2021 6:08 pm

Right now it looks like the radical Democrats are isolating themselves in Washington DC.

There’s a difference between hiding in Washington DC and taking over the whole nation by force.

Nancy Pelosi should let the National Guard in Washington DC go home. They have lives, Nancy. If the Capital Police force isn’t big enough, then hire more of them, and let the troops go home where they belong. They don’t belong in Washington DC playing nursemaid to you and your conspiracy theories about Trump supporters.

TonyG
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 7, 2021 12:17 pm

Sending the NG home would be saying there is no “threat”, and they have to keep up the fear.

jmorpuss
March 5, 2021 4:02 pm

“Philanthropy is the essential element in the making of Rockefeller power. It gives the Rockefellers a priceless reputation as public benefactors which the public values so highly that power over public affairs is placed in the Rockefellers’ hands. Philanthropy generates more power than wealth alone can provide.”‘ -Myer Kutz , Rockefeller Power

“Well, not quite. He had an even more Machiavellian scheme in mind. He would “give-money away to foundations under his control and then have those foundations spend the money in ways which brought even more Power and profits to the Rockefeller Empire. The money “given away ” would be bread cast upon the waters. But bread that almost always had a hook in it. John D. Jr. was to refer to this as the – principle of scientific giving”

The Rockefeller File: Chap. 4, The Power of Foundations by Gary Allen (educate-yourself.org)

Pat Frank
March 5, 2021 5:03 pm

How about the things we don’t know but pretend we do. Call that, comfortable delusion.

All of consensus climatology falls under that rubric.

Pat Frank
March 5, 2021 5:35 pm

… in which right-wing populists,… are waging a war on science.

Permit me a tranche of cynical amusement at that confirming display of comfortable delusion.

Speaking as an unaffiliated free thinker:
Consensus climatology is progressives waging a war on science.
Covid alarmism: progressives waging a war on science.
Masks work: progressives waging a war on science.
Anti-fossil-fuel: progressives waging a war on science.
So-called sustainable energy: progressives waging a war on science.
PETA: progressives waging a war on science.
Gender as a social construct: progressives waging a war on science.
Trans-sexism: progressives waging a war on science.
Math as racism: progressives waging a war on science.
Implicit bias: progressives waging a war on science.
Science is racist: progressives waging a war on science.

Apart from creationism, I don’t know of a single “right-wing” attack on science.

tommyboy
March 5, 2021 7:56 pm

A couple thoughts.
what we call science today does not actually describe nature but rather artificial simulacrums of the natural world that are increasingly removed from anything we can observe or test.
In other words models.

Why don’t we trust these climate scientists?
our expert class has become ever more unaccountable to its many competing and overconfident claims and predictions
It’s not the overconfidence it’s multiple false predictions and the vilification of those who call their expertise into question.

RdM
March 6, 2021 4:06 am

From an interview with Lord Sumption (on UK Covid lockdowns, but relevant IMHO) :

https://unherd.com/2021/03/lord-sumption-civil-disobedience-has-begun/

On what the Government should learn:

My first proposal is that governments should not treat information as a tool for manipulating public behaviour. They should be calmer than the majority of their citizens; they should be completely objective. My second lesson would be that governments dealing with scientific issues should not allow themselves to be influenced by a single caucus of scientists. They should always test what they are being told in a way that, for instance, judges test expert opinion by producing a counter expert, and working out which set of views stacks up best.”

Also presented with different transcript extracts and more comments at:

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/lord-sumption-warns-civil-disobedience-has-begun-amid-lockdown-lunacy

Worth an hour if you have it.

To bed B
March 6, 2021 11:44 am

I would sum it up as academics and leftwing politicians were so protected from institutional scrutiny that they became incompetent. This daftness showed up in the couple of orders of magnitude of more air time they received than sceptics, so the thinking public searched out sceptical view points.

It takes a certain sort of personality to believe that a person would put up with harassment only if bribed by Big Oil. One you wouldn’t buy a used car from.

Tom Abbott
March 6, 2021 5:06 pm

From the article: “As we have watched so many of our institutions fail and so much of our political culture come apart, it only becomes clearer that our capacity for self-government in advanced developed economies depends upon reestablishing a healthy interface between science, public institutions, and the publics they serve.”

The main obstacle to all that is the public institution that has the responsibility to inform the People, the News Media, has turned into a partisan, political leftwing propaganda organization, and you can’t believe a word they tell you because everything they say, including about science, is based on leftwing political ideology.

Last edited 4 months ago by Tom Abbott
March 7, 2021 10:49 am

The problem is that people who want to be powerful gravitate to institutions that are powerful. The press is powerful so power hungry people became journalists. Science is one of the last institutions with credibility so people who want to be powerful became ‘scientists’. Now science is losing credibility.

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